Watch CBS News

Gov. Murphy Calls On New Jersey Legislature To Pass Gun Safety Laws: 'We Have To Act Now'

METUCHEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A day after a 15-year-old was charged for opening fire and killing four people at a Michigan high school, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urged state lawmakers to pass a package of gun safety bills.

"Firearms are now the first leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States. This is not happening in any other high-income country," said Jennifer Gonzalez of Moms Demand Action, a gun safety advocacy group.

Gonzalez stood in favor of six proposed gun safety bills that would expand New Jersey's already strict gun laws, CBS2's Meg Baker reported Thursday.

The first proposed law would require firearm safety training before purchasing a gun.

"You can't get a darn driver's license without proving you know how to drive a car. Why do we ask less when it comes to a gun?" Murphy said.

WATCH: Gov. Murphy Pushes Gun Safety Package In Metuchen, N.J. 

The next mandates safe storage of firearms in a lockbox or gun safe.

Murphy also wants to close loopholes for importing out-of-state firearms and require an ID card within 30 days of residing in New Jersey.

Another bill would establish an electronic ammunition sales record keeping system to aid law enforcement. Another would require manufacturers to use microstamping technology.

"That leaves a one-of-a-kind imprint on every round of ammunition fired, a veritable license plate that can trace a specific round back to a specific gun," said Murphy.

The final bill calls to ban powerful and deadly 50-caliber firearms.

"Let's stop the charade that these weapons have any place in our communities," Murphy said.

The governor called these "common sense" gun laws, but Republican state senators Steve Oroho and Mike Testa called them restrictions on law-abiding residents.

"This isn't about public safety. It's about his ultimate goal of taking guns away from the very residents who follow our laws," said Testa in a statement.

Some Metuchen High School students who attended the event said laws that are already on the books and the possibility of these new laws make them feel safer walking into school each day.

"We have lockdown drills and we see on our phones, tragedies that happen all around the country," said Cecilia Zuniga, a Metuchen High School senior.

Lawmakers said most guns used in crimes in New Jersey come from out of state.

"There's also so much we can do right here at home to save lives," Gonzalez said. "New Jersey has some of the lowest rates of gun violence and gun deaths in the country, and these are not independent coincidences. Gun safety laws save lives."

In a statement, the National Rifle Association told CBS2, "The package of bills outlined today is a rehash of failed regulations that ignore the criminals running roughshod on the streets of Camden, Trenton, Newark, and Paterson."

CBS2's Meg Baker contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.